(New York/Geneva 27 June 2019) – Eleven chiefs of global humanitarian organizations today spearhead the launch of a worldwide campaign in solidarity with civilians under fire in northwestern Syria.
Three million civilians, among them one million children, are in imminent and mortal danger from the escalating violence in Idlib governorate and surrounding areas.
In a direct video address, the humanitarian leaders stress that civilians face the constant threat of violence and armed conflict and desperately need protection. Stressing that “too many have died already” and that “even wars have laws”, they deplore the devastating impact of the fighting on hospitals, schools and markets.
“Idlib is on the brink of a humanitarian nightmare unlike anything we have seen this century,” they warn.
“Our worst fears are now materializing,” added UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. “Yet again, innocent civilians are paying the price for the political failure to stop the violence and do what is demanded under international law – to protect all civilians. For the women, children and men in Idlib, it can be a death sentence. Our campaign expresses solidarity with the families under attack and tell everyone that we are watching and witnessing what is happening.”
A huge influx of displaced people from other parts of Syria since 2015 has doubled the size of the population in Idlib. At least 330,000 people have been displaced internally in the region during the last two month’s surge of violence. They have nowhere left to flee to. The UN Secretary-General has warned about the violence for months, but it hasn’t stopped, or even slowed.
The campaign video will be posted on Twitter and other online platforms and global leaders and the public are encouraged to share it with their own networks to show solidarity and to emphasize that they are witnesses to what is happening in Idlib.
Join us by sending the message that you are watching too.
We see you
We stand with you
You are not forgotten
You are #NotATarget
#TheWorldIsWatching campaign is supported by:
Henrietta Fore, UNICEF
Mark Lowcock, UN OCHA
Jan Egeland, Norwegian Refugee Council
Carolyn Miles, Save the Children
Abby Maxman, Oxfam America
Justin Byworth, World Vision
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women
Caroline Kende Robb, CARE International
David Miliband, International Rescue Committee
Neil Keny-Guyer, Mercy Corps
António Vitorino, International Organization for Migration
Dominic MacSorley, Concern Worldwide
David Beasley, World Food Programme
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.